It all began with friendship.
Mellow, Alison, Sofie, and Tasha, four friends bonded in rock n' roll, esprit de corps, and the joy of making beautifully crafted, handmade objects worthy of the sweet and salty grandeur that is Tucson. They wanted a store that celebrated the beauty of form and function and brought together all the things that Tucson deserved, but didn’t always have: the perfect little gift, the often-used kitchen tool, the scent of the desert in a bottle. They found the perfect (original) location in a big, drafty building at 299 S. Park Avenue in the Lost Barrio, an inspiring space with a high-beamed ceiling reminiscent of an overturned ship. The space took shape at breakneck speed: the entire store, from idea to conception, came together in just two months. The name was a problem, but after weeks of brainstorming, the idea for the acronym MAST arrived (for Mellow, Alison, Sofie, and Tasha), and on December 10th, 2010, MAST opened its doors for the first time.
Fast forward into the future: after a few months, Alison left, finding that biz just wasn’t her jam, and four were now three. Mellow, Tasha, and Sofie marched on, learning about business and finding their strengths. The location on Park became a home for some pretty memorable events, including community-based fundraisers and art openings. They loved the store on Park, but when their friends at the Mercado San Agustin approached with an offer of a new location, they decided to embrace this new destiny. It was time to grow up.
So they moved to the Mercado San Agustin, where they could be surrounded by other like-minded businesses. It was the perfect space in which to showcase their own handcrafts, their unparalleled collection of rope and string, and the work of other innovative Tucson artisans, including La Curie (Lesli Wood's sensational line of artisan perfumes) architect Cade Hayes’s finely-made furniture, and the goods of many other talented craftspeople.
MAST is now celebrating its seventh birthday, having made it this far with the unwavering support of this great community of creative folk, like-minded business people, friends, and appreciators of things well made. Tucson has changed dramatically during this 7 years, growing and bursting forth. Mellow, Sofie, and Tasha are always trying to do things a little better, always trying to intuit the gap in their product line so they can bring their wonderful customers the small things that make the world just a little bit lovelier.
MAST’s next(exciting) adventure is a new KIOSK at Tucson International Airport, Terminal A, opening in 2017. Soon it will be possible for travelers to take a little shard of Tucson magic home with them. And as visitors and residents fly off into the soaring sky with their new treasures tucked in their bags, we can be proud that by celebrating the dust-blasted, sparkle-lit, train-whistle beauty of Tucson, MAST is helping to prove what many have long suspected: Tucson is indeed the Paris of the southwest.
Written by Stacey Richter
Stacey Richter is the author of the short story collections My Date with Satan and Twin Study. Her work has won many literary awards you’ve never heard of. Does she have a website? Yes: www.staceyrichter.com
Please join us as we celebrate our Lucky 7 Anniversary, this Saturday, December 10th, from 6 to 9pm.
Live screen printing will be going down, thanks to Cream Forever. You may bring your own item to be printed on, for $10, or have a tee made just for you for $26. We'll have a few limited edition tote bags, tees and other little treasures to commemorate this milestone.
Additionally we will be offering libations in the form of these regionally made liquors (with a few chasers, mixers and garnishes, though shots are encouraged...):
We will have some light snacks, rad music and as always, a great crew of friends, vendors, and community!
Stop by the Holiday Bazaar and pick up rad gifts from vendors; our store is always open during the hustle and bustle!
Stacks on Stacks in Black Necklace
This petite and delicate piece packs a punch, with 7 single Black Spinel rows making up a brave hearted statement piece, inspired by tribal breastplates of both African and Native American design. Spinel is thought to be a protective gemstone, warding off negative energy; we all need that, right?
It's the season.. for giving thanks.
It's the HOLIDAY season...
This year has flown by and we are somewhat thankful that it is coming to an end. Honestly, it's been a rough one all around for so many people. These are the times, though, that remind us to be thankful for all of the good things in our lives, and to come together with more awareness, kindness, and strength as a community. We are finding that it's a good time for gratitude, for all of the amazing people who have supported us throughout this and previous years, as fellow craftspeople, business allies, family, and, of course, our amazing customers.
We love you, Tucson!
Wishing all of our friends near and far and safe and happy holiday season, and a kinder, far gentler, and overall kick ass 2017.